You’re shuffling down the hallway toward the kitchen in search of a late night snack. And there it is. A flickering, fast-moving shadow in your peripheral vision. You swear it had a human form. You replay the moment in your mind. Yes, it was definitely a human shadow. Your skin crawls. The hair stands up on the back of your neck. You begin to doubt yourself. Don't worry. You are now one of a growing community who see shadow people.
The Logical Explanation for Seeing Shadow People
The human brain is hardwired to see faces and figures in patterns. It stems from pre-historic times, when we, and our prey, made use of effective camouflage. So our brains developed a distinct ability to discern faces of people and animals in shadows, tangled, vegetation, caves, among rocks, forests, scrub land, etc. Think about when you are daydreaming; you start to see faces on the drapes, in that randomly patterned bathroom tile, in a burning fire, and on stained walls. We are always looking for faces in patterns. It even has a name: face pareidolia. Similarly, we do the same with figures. We look for patterns that make sense to our brains all the time. This is called apophenia.
Back in the day, recognizing such shapes could have been a life or death situation when threatened by predators or searching for food. So why, when we are not generally under threat by predators, do our brains still insist on generating meaning from patterns? You’d think it was one skill that was no longer vital? No-one really knows. All scientists know is that it is still A Thing.
Back to our shadow visitor. As you walked down the hallway and caught a glimpse of that fleeting shadow, that’s all it was, a fleeting shadow. However, your brain is desperately doing its thing and trying to make sense of it. So it processes it several times until the shadow becomes a human shape. Now your brain is happy. It worked hard to put that puzzle together and now it has delivered. In your mind, dark is as clear as day – it was a shadow person.
I Definitely Saw a Shadow Spirit
But, hang on, every shadow must have a source, so how did that shadow spirit end up on my wall?
Most likely the light source that caused the shadow was a moving vehicle in the distance. You probably wouldn’t even notice the flicker of the lights because you were focussed on that tasty morsel in the fridge. Yet that distant beam caused a shadow of a tree, a pole, a bird table, an actual person, even, to be thrown onto your wall in a tiny split second. Other light sources might be a search helicopter, a flash of distant lightning, or some person looking for their cat with a torch.
That’s the reasonable, logical explanation for some occurrences of those creepy shadow people who haunt your hallway, but perhaps there is no logical explanation. Maybe you really did see a spooky shadow ghost…
Shadow People: A Paranormal Experience
Shadow people are usually described as tall, thin, and oddly, male figures. They either flit just in the line of your peripheral vision, or they might appear right in front of you, stay a moment then fade away.
Those who reported seeing them often said their appearance was accompanied by a certain feeling of being watched, a feeling of dread, or an extremely uncomfortable physical prickling sensation on their arms, neck and scalp.
While they are known as shadow spirits, some people have described them as less shadow-like and more akin to smoke that hangs there in a human shape for a few seconds and then dissipates like evaporating mist.
Are Shadow People Inter-dimensional Beings?
There are those that are convinced that shadow people are visitors from another dimension. And who is to say they are not right? It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that any entity that inhabits a higher dimension has the ability to poke its head, or even its whole body, through the inter-dimensional curtain. Another possibility is that the shadow is merely a representation of the being on the other side; it’s proxy, if you like?
Are Shadow Entities Evil?
As far as we are aware nobody has reported being harmed by a shadow figure, although we heard a story about a woman who is convinced she saw a spectral shadow spirit the night before her husband crashed his car and barely lived to tell the tale. He did survive though. The shadow spirit did not take him.
Are Shadow People Real?
Well, of course they’re not real in the sense that you could marry one. However, one theory states that shadow people are the visible evidence that actual, real people are having out-of-body experiences. That the fast appearing, fast disappearing shadow is really the guy down the street having such a vivid dream that his consciousness left his body and has come to see what snack you are preparing. Or something like that.
Other Shadow Spirit Theories
Shadow people are aliens. Well, if inter-dimensional visitors are a possibility, it stands to reason that inter-planetary interlopers might also be interested in your hallway decor. Again, they could be themselves or representations of themselves in spirit form. Their real bodies might be safely tucked away in some cryogenic chamber aboard a spacecraft already on its way to Earth. They’ve sent their shadow counterparts ahead for a quick reconnoiter.
Shadow figures are demons. Well… maybe. If you’ve been messing with Ouija boards or performing some dark art, demon-conjuring spell, then you could be looking at a demon infestation. In which case, get some professional psychic help.
Shadow men are time-travelers. Somehow, some way in the future, people have discovered a method of time-travel without having to put their whole bodies through the trauma of smashing through time and space. Their shadows can do all that for them. They survive massive G-forces, having their molecules stretched and bent just to arrive in your hallway where the sight of that photo of your Auntie Joyce in her cerise top and yellow stilettos causes them to fall apart and fade away into nothing.
What’s your opinion of shadow people? Have you ever seen one? How did you feel about it?